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How to Paint Cement Walls

How to Paint Cement Walls
Save yourself costs of calling in a painter by learning how to paint the cement walls of your home. The basic instructions, the right technique, few quick tips ... and you're good to go!
Bidisha Mukherjee
Last Updated: Oct 05, 2018
Happy family holding Work Tools.
Painting the walls of your home can be a tedious job, only because of the time it consumes. However, by doing this yourself, you can save a lot of money. A new coat of paint will not only add a refreshing look to your home, but also protect your walls from moisture.
The techniques for painting the interior and exterior of your home are the same. For the exteriors, you just need a pressure washer to clean the walls before you begin. Make sure that you have purchased all the materials mentioned here, and only then undertake this job.
Summer rain
  • Detergent
  • Bucket of Water
Scrub brush on white
  • Stiff-bristled Scrub Brush
Paint Scraper
  • Stiff Putty Knife
black bucket with white paint
  • Primer
Paint cans and colored brushes on white background
  • Cement Wall Paint
Silicone Tubes
  • Acrylic Mortar Patch
Paint roller on wooden background
  • Paint Brush/Roller
Ladder for painting operations
  • Ladder
Step #1: Cleaning the Walls
All the dirt and grime should be cleaned from the wall surface. Otherwise, the paint or primer will not bond well with the walls. This is a tough job as these walls are often neglected and thick layers of dust and debris form on them.
If you are painting walls in your home's interior, remove all the wall decorations before you start. Cover up wall fixtures and trims with the help of a painter's tape. Scrape out loose, peeling paint with the help of a putty knife.
After you're done, scrub the remaining dirt and dust with the brush dipped in a bucket of soapy solution. Use a pressure washer to wash off the exterior walls.
Step #2: Repairing
Any cracks or holes in the walls should be repaired. This is important because even a minor defect on the wall becomes prominent after application of paint. Use a cement patching compound to seal up the crevices.
Walls in the basement often have the problem of seepage of ground water; this kind of damage should be repaired first. Let the wall dry up completely before you move on to the next step.
Step #3: Applying Primer
Worker priming with a paint roller
Priming the wall is important as it improves the bonding between the paint and the underlying walls, ensuring that the paint will last for a longer time. It will give a professional finish to the walls. Apply the primer generously on the wall surface for best results.
A paint roller is suitable for applying primer on the broad surfaces, while a paintbrush should be used for the trims. Leave the walls untouched until the coat of primer dries up completely. Approximately, it takes two hours for this coat to dry. However, read the manufacturer's notice on the primer carton to confirm.
Step #4: Applying Paint
Painting wall
Select an elastomeric paint for painting your exterior as it provides protection from weather elements; choose an acrylic paint for the interiors. Divide the walls into small sections and paint one section at a time. 
Pour some paint on a paint tray, dip the paint roller into it, and apply the paint evenly on the wall. You have to apply at least 2-3 coats. Every coat should be given enough time to dry up before the next one is applied.
On a plain cement wall, you can use any random strokes with the paint roller. However, while painting cement block walls, use a back-and-forth motion with the roller so that the paint distribution is uniform.
Wear protective gear like gloves and a respirator to protect yourself from dust. Make sure that your indoor work area has enough ventilation, giving you comfort while working.